Feb 092007

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Since last month’s post, “SUNY Plattsburgh Trivia”, turned out to be so popular I decided to do another round. With all the good trivia gone, I’ve always wondered what the stories were behind the names of some of the buildings around SUNY Plattsburgh. Some were obvious and some were surprising. I admit I couldn’t find the meanings behind every campus building so if you can fill in some of the blanks, please shoot me an email.

Residence Halls
Adirondack Hall: Named for the nearby Adirondack Mountains.
Banks Hall: Named in memory of Dr. Marie Banks, professor of home economics.
deFredenburgh Hall: Named for Count Charles deFredenburgh, who was the first European settler in the area. He was the founder of a settlement called Freburg which occupied the sight of present day Plattsburgh.
Harrington Hall: Named for Charles M. Harrington. Harrington was a prominent attorney and judge in Plattsburgh, who served in the New York State Legislature and the College Council.
Hood Hall: Named for Diana R. Hood, a former residence hall director and Dean of Women from 1964 to 1969.
Kent Hall: Named for James Kent. Kent was a local attorney who served on the Supreme Court and authored the book, “Commentaries on American Law.” This book is considered one of the most widely used legal references by the American Bar Association.
MacDonough Hall: Named for Commodore Thomas MacDonough, commander in charge of the American forces who were victorious over the British in the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1812.
Macomb Hall: Named for General Alexander Macomb. General Macomb directed the American Land forces against the British in the Battle of Plattsburgh in the War of 1812.
Mason Hall: Named for Ernest S. and Frederick E. Mason. Both were former local businessmen and members of the college council.
Moffitt Hall: Named for local Civil War hero Brigadier General Stephen Moffitt. After the war, Moffitt became a State Assemblyman who was influential in passing legislation to establish a Normal School in Plattsburgh.
Whiteface Hall: Named for Whiteface Mountain, famous as the skiing venue for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics in nearby Lake Placid.
Wilson Hall: Lewis W. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was associated with the New York State Education Department for 43 years and served as Commissioner of Education from 1950-1955.

Classroom Buildings:
Beaumont Hall: Named for Dr. William Beaumont, known as the “Father of Gastric Physiology”.
Champlain Valley Hall: Named for the Champlain Valley region which surrounds Lake Champlain. CVH was previously Champlain Valley School of Nursing.
Hawkins Hall: Named for George K. Hawkins, the principal of Plattsburgh Normal School from 1898 to 1933. Hawkins Hall replaced the original Normal Hall.
Hudson Hall: Named for George Henry Hudson, who served as Professor of Natural Science from 1890-1926.
Memorial Hall: (unknown, but possibly a memorial to a war.)
Myers Fine Arts Building: Suggested to be named for John H. Myers, a prominent businessman and local politician in Plattsburgh during the late 1890’s.
Redcay Hall: Named for Dr. Edward “Doc” Redcay, president of the college from 1952-1954.
Sibley Hall: Named for Margaret Sibley, a long-time teacher in the Campus School when it was located in Hawkins Hall.
Ward Hall: Named for Dr. Charles C. Ward, the fourth principal of the Plattsburgh Normal School.
Yokum Hall: Suggested to be named for George E. Yokum, a former music teacher.

Resource Buildings
Angell College Center : Named for Dr. George Angell, president of the college from 1954-1974.
Kehoe Administration Building: Suggested to be named after Harry P. Kehoe, a prominent Judge in Plattsburgh who was appointed Deputy Attorney-General for the State of New York in the early 1920’s.
Feinberg Library: Named for Benjamin F. Feinberg. He was a prominent Plattsburgh native and New York State Senator who sponsored the 1948 legislation creating the State University of New York system.
Saranac Hall (“The Bookstore”): Named for the Saranac River which runs along the southern border of the campus.

Dining Halls
Algonquin Dining Hall: Names for the native American tribes indigenous to the region.
Clinton Dining Hall: Named for Clinton County.
The Sundowner Cafe: Named as such because it was originally supposed to be open significantly later in to the evening than other dining facilities.

Other Random Stuff Around Campus
Ami Plaza: This area between the Angell College Center and the Myers Fine Arts Building is named after its huge metal sculpture of two people shaking hands. Amité is french for Amity, which means “peaceful relations, as between nations” and the sculpture represents the friendly relationship between the U.S. and Canada.
Ronald B. Stafford Ice Hockey Arena: Stafford was a popular and influential New York State Senator, representing the North Country for 37 years.
Chip Cummings Baseball Field: Alumnus of 1956 who was instrumental in baseball returning to Plattsburgh as a varsity sport.
Albert R. Montanaro Television Studio: Montanaro was a professor who was instrumental in building the Communications Department.
Willard C. Flynt Commons (“The Blue Room”): Flynt was a former VP for student affairs.
Draper Avenue: Named after Judge Andrew S. Draper, former State Superintendent of Public Institution who was instrumental in bringing the Normal School to Plattsburgh.

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  14 Responses to “SUNY Plattsburgh Trivia II”

  1. I’m kicking myself on the Kehoe building, because I knew the answer to that one once, but now I can’t remember it.

    The John Myers Fine Arts Building is probably named for John H. Myers, a prominent businessman and local politician in Plattsburgh during the late 1890s.

  2. Thanks Chris. I updated Myers, and you got me looking for Kehoe again so I added a reasonable guess for that one. I’m still very interested in Yokum in particular too.

  3. “Yokum Hall was named after Country Singer Dwight Yokum, who frequently broke into the back door to edit his 420 piece on the weekends.”

    What do you mean, no?

  4. The Sundowner was actually just named the Sundowner because it was originally suppose to be used for late night activities, source was an interview with the Director of CAS interviewing about the renovations.

  5. Early 90’s alums and prior will remember The Point. I always assumed that was named for the extreme angle the bar came to at the back left corner. I always thought I was cool when I got a seat at that point.

  6. Yokum, I belive, was named after George E. Yokum, a music teacher at the college who, from what I remember, died in an auto accident. I remember reading about this in history Professor, Douglas Skopp’s book, “Bright with Promise”, published in 1989 to celebrate the college’s 100 year anniversary. I bought the book in the college store back when I was in school up there, I still have it today next to my yearbook, it’s a great read.
    -Joe Walsh

  7. If I had to guess i’d assume Memorial Hall was named after the British raid of July 30, 1813 and the two pre-rev war gravestones unearthed there because it’s pretty close to MacDonough… I’m kind of curious to know the real reason why though…

  8. That’s interesting because I had assumed (based on absolutely nothing) that it was named in honor of World War II veterans. Could be Korean War too based on when it was built.

    • I believe you are right. There is a plaque next to the front door dedicating it. It’s either those wars or alums who served

  9. Champlain Valley Hall is the former Champlain Valley School of Nursing–that was the classrooms and dorms for the students. I know, since I graduated from there.

  10. The Point! The only bar you really had to be 21 to get into! $1 buckets….

    • I Graduated in ’83, and we loved the Point (pub)
      After spending all evening in the Library, it was nice to have a Drink with friends at the Point.
      Sad, Students today can’t drink legally.

      When did the Point close??

  11. Hey John B,
    The Point closed sometime around 1990-91. It was a very cool place to hang out! A bunch of us would go out to the Point after a Business class we had from 7-10PM on Tuesday nights. The teacher let us out early and we were at the Point by 9:15. We always drank beer (and not just one, or two, or three) and played darts. Then one day the Point was gone! I graduated in 1991. I visited in 2001 and couldn’t believe how the college had changed. It didn’t seem cool anymore! My buddies and I have the memories that will never die!

  12. Does anyone know when the “Union” bar and “The Cumberland” closed down?

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